Doin’ it Jersey-style: Internet dance & music craze has roots in the Garden State
A style of music and dance that is taking over social media has its roots in the Garden State.
Thousands of “Jersey Club” dances have been posted on YouTube and TikTok over the past few years. Many who participate in the trend may not realize that they are sampling a piece of New Jersey history.
“More people need to visit the city and experience the culture first hand,” says Jersey Club DJ UniiQU3. “You can be a fan online, but coming to the city and feeling the energy is a totally different experience.”
Jersey Club’s hallmarks are the 130-140 beats per minute tempo, triplet kick drum patterns, DJ ad-libs and the dancing.
Jersey Club emerged in the early 2000s when Newark's pioneering DJ Tameil brought the sound up Interstate 95 from Baltimore, gave it a New Jersey flavor and watched it catch fire and flourish.
And on Monday, dance teams from Baltimore have traveled that same route for the latest round in a friendly rivalry dance battle over the shared style.
“Baltimore versus Jersey has always been a discussion for years and years…this is just a physical representation of that,” says dancer Elijah “Eskillz’ Carr. “This is beef. This is animosity or whatever you want to call it. But it’s all love here. We just wanted to get the communities together.”
Hydeia Ford, also known as “Cookie B” and Aljahtiya Fox of Newark, run Crown the Victor - one of three production companies putting on the event. They are part of a growing number of women who are moving from the Jersey Club dance floor to the DJ booth and the production side in recent years, led by Newark DJ UniiQU3 who made that move herself.
“I myself wanted to see more women come to the forefront,” UniiQU3 says.
The New Jersey dance team defeated the Baltimore team in the dance battle. Judges awarded eight victors to Team New Jersey to Baltimore’s six.